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Eulogy do's and don'ts

How to Deliver a Eulogy: Page 2

By , Caring.com senior editor
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  • Don't go on too long. Keep the eulogy succinct and to the point.
  • Try to stick to the eulogy you wrote and practiced. Unless you're an experienced speaker, adding a new idea at the last minute may cause you to lose the thread of your talk and begin to ramble.
  • Be judicious with humor. Although a few jokes can lighten the tone of a memorial service, inappropriate or excessive humor can offend. Remember that you're not there to roast the person or other guests, and that feelings are likely to be more fragile than usual.
  • Remember that it's a eulogy, not a chance to settle scores. If you're angry with the person for some reason or you have an ongoing feud with another friend or relative of the person, keep it out of the eulogy. A memorial service is not the time to introduce a bombshell or fan any flames.
  • Don't be too hard on yourself. If the eulogy, or your delivery of it, doesn't go over as well as you'd hoped, try not to consider the experience a failure. It's difficult to be at your most creative and eloquent when you've just lost a loved one, and no one expects you to be. If you compose and deliver the eulogy with as much sincerity and feeling as you can, it will do the job of honoring the person, comforting the mourners, and providing you the chance to say thank you and good-bye.